The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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"I had bilateral silicone implants placed at age 17," says Kristen, a 39-year-old mother of two. "I nursed both of my children with no complications or problems. I even had a ruptured implant, which was encapsulated by scar tissue, and my doctor still recommended breastfeeding."
I recently saw an article on the basics of breastfeeding. It was titled "Breastfeeding Bliss." I nearly laughed out loud. Bliss isn't what comes to mind when I think about my own early efforts to nurse.
When I was pregnant, I studied for motherhood as if I was preparing for the bar exam. I read everything I could find on nursing, talked with other moms and even took a breastfeeding class. I was ready. But when my baby arrived, nourishing him was not what I'd expected.
Drink Mother's Milk Tea The tea seemed to make everything feel better. It also gave me a moment of peace, a moment for me, a moment for my boobs to recoup.
-- Kirsten Kemp, Santa Barbara, Calif.; mother of Walker, 5; and Nola, 2
Latching your baby on correctly whenever he's interested should head off most breastfeeding problems. But here are some other tips:
Attend a La Leche League International meeting (lalecheleague.org) to learn how others solved common challenges. Line up a lactation consultant to call in case of problems. Read the recently updated classic, The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins, R.N. (Harvard Common Press, 2005).
Breastfeeding: it's one of the most natural and intimate of all human interactions. But, just because it's natural doesn't mean it's easy—especially in those first few overwhelming weeks with your newborn.
Breastfeeding takes knowledge and practice. You've got a million questions about how to get it right. And, luckily, you've come to the right place.